Preparing for a VAT Visit


VAT inspectors are sent out to verify that returns filed correctly reflect the underlying accounting records of the tax payer.

They will conduct as many tests as they feel are necessary to satisfy themselves on this point. For instance:

  1. Can you provide an audit trail that shows how your sales and purchases have been recorded and how these figures show up in your VAT return?
  2. Have you kept copies of your sales and purchase invoices?
  3. Do you keep a formal reconciliation of your VAT account?
  4. Have you paid over the correct car scale charges?
  5. If you operate a special scheme, cash accounting, flat rate scheme, annual accounting etc, have you abided by the scheme rules. Particularly are you still eligible to be in the scheme?
  6. If you import or export goods from or to the EU or other destinations have you reported these transactions correctly on your VAT returns and supplementary returns?

Additionally inspectors will ask to see annual accounts.

Prior to the visit you should ask the VAT office to clarify what period they will be checking and ensure you have all the records to hand to satisfy points 1 to 6 above.

If you receive notice of an impending visit please call if you need help gathering together the required information. Be prepared.


Disclaimer – Please note:The ideas shared with you in this factsheet are intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayers' circumstances do vary and if you feel that tax strategies we have outlined may be beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you do or do not take action as a result of reading this tax factsheet, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

If you like this article and would like our FREE updates sent straight to your inbox then subscribe to our monthly newsletter


Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you or your business, call us on 0808 144 5575 and speak to a member of our team. Alternatively use our contact form to send us a message or arrange a callback.

CALL 0808 144 5575


Contact Us

All content © 2015 Armstrong Watson. All Rights Reserved. Website by Simon Pighills.

Armstrong Watson LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, number OC415608. The registered office is 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW where a list of members is kept. Armstrong Watson Accountants, Business & Financial Advisers is a trading style of Armstrong Watson LLP. Armstrong Watson LLP is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities.

Armstrong Watson Audit Limited is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 8800970. Registered office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW

Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 542122. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 7208672. Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management is a trading name of Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited. Registered Office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW